Chapter 10: The Greatest Art of Being Silent
The Goldbergs are touring India and one day Hymie finds that he has left his watch in the hotel. He has been photographing an elephant with his trainer, so he asks the trainer what the time is.
The man slowly reaches out, takes hold of the elephant’s balls, shifts them slightly and says, “It is five to one.”
“My God!” gasps Hymie. “That’s incredible. Wait, I want to fetch my wife.” A few minutes later, Hymie comes racing back with Becky and again he asks the time. The man reaches out, cups the elephant’s balls as though weighing them, then moves them to one side and declares, “It is three minutes past one.”
“Fantastic!” cries Becky checking her watch. Hymie digs a hundred dollar bill out of his pocket and offers it to the Indian if he will show them how he tells the time. The man shrugs and folds the money in his dhoti. He motions to the Goldbergs to kneel beside him. They hold their breath as the man once again cups the elephant’s balls in his hands. Moving them to one side, he says, “Now, do you see that clock over there?”
For five years in a row the Annual International Joke Contest, held in New York, has been won by Rabbi Finkelstein. But amazingly enough, this year his joke only comes second. And the organizers are forced to phone him to break the bad news.
“My God!” says Rabbi Fink. “I refuse to accept the verdict until I hear the joke that beats me.”
“Well,” says the man, “the winning joke this year was submitted by Osho and I am afraid that it may be a bit much for your ears. But I’ll tell you what I can do. I will read you the joke, and when I come to a part that is too much for you I will substitute it with ‘la-di-da-di-da.’”
“Okay,” says the rabbi, “fire away.”
The man clears his throat and then begins to read: “La-di-da. La-da-di-da. La-di-da. Fuck.”
This is the very first time in my life I have the feeling of being “at home.” My heart is strongly beating and I feel a deep gratitude.
Why Osho, do I lose this feeling of being at home when I am not physically with you, or even when you stop talking?
To feel at home is one of the most spiritual experiences. Ordinarily, nobody feels at home anywhere. People go around the world in search of a place where they can feel at home, but wherever they go, they are the same person - they carry all their worries, their tensions, their anguishes. And because of their anguish and anxiety, they continue to feel a certain unease; otherwise, you can feel at home anywhere.